On our latest episode, Michael threw this High Five Doozey. What are the top five best games in big box stores that have not been on another High Five? So I put my thinking cap on. Without further ado, here they are.
5. Spot It!
Spot It! is a simple card game that mathematically boggles my mind. Any two cards in the deck have exactly one symbol in common. Did I mention there are 55 cards in the deck? Players try to identify the match as quickly as possible, and the player who spots the most matching symbols wins. Spot It! works great with any age group, and it doesn't take long before your kids mop the floor with you. Youngsters playing Spot It! improve their pattern recognition and mental agility.
Some folks describe Codenames as a party game, but I like to think of it as a tactical puzzle. Sure, you can laugh when someone makes a mistake, but I've been in some pretty intense games of Codenames. In Codenames, players divide into teams. Each team tries to guess their team's hidden words based on clues from their clue-giver. The game has a built-in tension, and younger players have a unique opportunity to better comprehend the English Language. I'm not sure how well Codenames would work with younger kids, but middle schoolers could start flexing their linguistic muscles with this one. Plus, Codenames works well in a classroom, based on the game's team approach.
If I'm not mistaken, Qwixx may have been the first roll-and-write game I played. In Quixx, players roll five colored dice and cross off numbers on their scoresheet. The trick is that some numbers are ascending, while others are descending. However, once you cross off a number, you can never go backward to fill in a number you may have skipped. Qwixx is an excellent game for teaching quick addition and risk management. It's essential to know how far to push forward and when to play this game efficiently.
2. 7 Wonders
It's not surprising that 7 Wonders made it on this list, considering it is one of our Recommended Games. 7 Wonders has basic drafting mechanisms. Still, strategy and depth reveal themselves with repeated plays, which isn't hard to do with the speedy playtime. It works best with an older audience and can accommodate up to seven players without adding to the game's length! Not to mention we have an in-depth Discussion Guide for this game, as well as a Subject-Builder that delves into the ancient wonders featured in 7 Wonders.
While we're on the subject of Recommended Games, I can't think of a game I'd recommend more. (Especially considering the state of the world today) Pandemic is a cooperative game in which players try to stop an ongoing pandemic event and eradicate the viruses that caused it. Pandemic came out ten years ago, yet it still handles this complicated subject matter gracefully. Students must work together for the common good, manage resources and logistics, and solve difficult problems. If you are looking for a masterclass in gameschooling, look no further. Take a look at how Game Schooler can help you use this game to teach your kids about this delicate issue.